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Mass. Communities Brace For Slots, Casinos

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Jim Armstrong Jim Armstrong
Jim Armstrong is an Emmy-award winning reporter who joined WBZ-TV in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – At 83 years old, George Carney is not done working for what he wants.

The owner of Raynham Park is anxious to continue his decade-long fight. Now, he wants to get the license to be the one slots parlor the state will allow under the new casino law.

“Well to be honest with you, I’ve been waiting for about 10 years; I was afraid I was going to die of old age before it happened,” Carney joked.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

“We have a great opportunity to do something for the state and do something for the people who need a job desperately.”

His track took a huge hit when voters got rid of greyhound racing.

But if Carney’s successful in his bid to revamp his facility, then Raynham Park gets a new life — and, he says, so does his community.

But the slot parlor is as far as he wants to go.

“I’d rather go with the slots, the business that I understand,” he explains. “Let the full casino go up the city of Boston or wherever they want to go with it. I’d be very happy just to go with the slots. I don’t have to be the biggest guy in town.”

But residents over in Milford are bracing for just the opposite. Theirs is just one of the many Bay State communities actively pondering whether or not it’s a smart idea to welcome a big casino. An out-of-state developer is still talking about building a $700 million dollar resort casino off of Route 495.

Milford resident Fred Saad is all for the plan.

“It’ll give a lot of revenue to the town and to the state,” he says. “Instead of the money going outside the state, it’ll be in the state.”

But Maria Saad disagrees. “Maybe create jobs, it’s a good idea,” she says. “But I don’t know if it will create more problems for the town.”

It seems now, with a casino here appearing closer than ever to becoming a reality, the same concerns linger.

Laurie Greenwood of Milford says she’s never stepped foot in an actual casino, and has no desire to do so in her own town. She’s worried about everything that might come along with a big gaming facility.

“It pulls in a lot of addicts that are gamblers and the criminal element to it as well,” she says. Greenwood is also worried about the number of cars and buses a casino would bring to town. When it comes to traffic, she says, “there’s enough in Milford already.”

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